It was a nice break but all good things must come to an end. And what better way to get back into the groove than at a Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club weekly meeting? Especially one featuring the new Chair-elect of the Harris County Republican Party, Paul Simpson?
Even with Spring Break in full swing, there was an almost full house to hear Paul’s plans for the party. The title of his presentation was Restore and Rebuild – I won’t get into detail about it because he will be presenting it to the Senatorial convention on Saturday. He reiterated some of his campaign themes about the deterioration of the party in Harris County, emphasized how large and important Harris County is for Republicans in Texas and nationally, discussed his plans to bring high-dollar donors to the party, and briefly outlined his transition focus as follows:
- Financial – shouldn’t need money from activists or candidates
- Facilities – current headquarters is not convenient and is old, need to find a new location, continue to look for satellite offices
- Technology – stressed the need to be on par with the Democratic Party in this area
- Staffing / appointments – the Chair has between 30 and 40 appointments, he wants to be transparent and let anyone apply for the appointments, hopefully via an online application
A couple of things stood out. First is that former City of Houston Controller candidate Bill Frazer is heading the financial transition. That is very good news and Bill should be able to build enough confidence in the party so that the high-dollar donors will come on board. It should also allow Bill to gain the confidence of Republican voters should he choose to run again. A disappointment was that Phil Owens is not in line to be on the professional staff – heck, I’ve campaigned for about four years now for him to be the executive director but I suppose Phil is finally going to get his just dues in the private consulting business. Good for him and as long as he remains available to help with strategy, good for the party.
Like I said, I’m not going to comment much on the actual presentation but I did extract three questions that I thought would give you a flavor of what is to come from a Simpson administration.
First, a question from me about the Party’s traditional Joint Judicial Campaign:
Second, a question from a college student about outreach to traditional Democratic strongholds:
Last, a question about the infamous Vacancy Committee:
I think that if you take a few minutes to listen to those three questions, you’ll get a good feel for the meeting and the direction the party is headed. Other than that, it was good to be at my favorite club. You might notice that Club President Sophia Mafrige is not in the picture – she is recovering from surgery. We missed you Sophia! And we wish you a speedy recovery.